Dive-into the future of digital agriculture as envision by the youth at the Global AgriInno Challenge 2021

On 9 December, over 400 passionate audience from 53 countries attended the on-line Pitch Event of the Global AgriInno Challenge 2021 to witness 10 youth-led teams pitching their innovative solutions in front of an international jury from FAO, Zhejiang University, ITU, UNWTO, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Top Cloud Agri-Tech Company.

The Global AgriInno Challenge (GAC) 2021 was co-organized by FAO and Zhejiang University, with the support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China and Pinduoduo. Its aim is to encourage youth and women to harness innovation, technologies and entrepreneurship to address challenges related to the transformation of rural villages into ‘Digital Villages’ that contribute to the Four Betters: better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, while leaving no one behind.


 “The organizing of the GAC 2021 with the theme of ‘Digital Villages: Solutions for the Four Betters’ demonstrates how FAO intends to support the achievement of the SDG agenda and reflects the interconnected economic, social and environmental dimensions of agrifood systems while encouraging a strategic and systems-oriented approach” emphasized by Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist at FAO, on the importance of GAC 2021 in her opening speech at Pitch Event.

The 10 finalists were selected out of the 157 applications from 37 countries for their outstanding potential and the promising impact of their projects for the future of local and global agrifood systems. These 10 teams came from a wide array of countries including Canada, China, Germany, Ghana, India, Iran, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom and United States of America.

“The pitch event is the milestone of the Global AgriInno Challenge 2021 as youth plays an important role in an inclusive recovery and the digital transformation of the agrifood sector” indicated by Ms Lianzhen He, Vice President of Zhejiang University, China. Ms Zhiping Li, Deputy Director-General, Foreign Economic Cooperation Center (FECC), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China, also pointed out that FECC works with all relevant partners to boost agricultural innovation.  


Group photo at Pitch Event of Global AgriInno Challenge

After serious competition and deliberation, the three winners were announced, with the gold medal being awarded to Grow For Me from Ghana, whose solution is an interconnected value chain financing platform, that provides micro-financing to people in rural areas via mobile money to buy commodities directly from farmers.

The silver medal was given to EPTeck Technologies from Germany and Pakistan, with their solution ¨Remote Well¨ that helps control and monitor irrigation systems.

The bronze medal was bestowed to Point Grass into Gold from China who prepare high-quality forage for cattle and sheep, forming an animal husbandry circulating forage production chain that combines planting and breeding.


Gold medal winner Grow for Me with Khalid Bomba, Director, Office of Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer at FAO

“At FAO, we believe that youthful populations represent an invaluable asset. It becomes increasingly evident that we must harness the youth’s potential to successfully transform the agrifood systems. […] The creation of synergies between our current systems and the potential brought by brilliant young minds shows the extent to which the world can benefit from processes such as the Global AgriInno Challenge.” indicated by Mr Khalid Bomba, Director, Office of Innovation and Chief Innovation Officer at FAO.

“We are excited about the validation and the opportunity to scale our solutions into Africa. We look forward to working closely with FAO to make this to impact the remotest of farmers on the continent. Thank you very much!” shared by Nana Prempeh from Grow For Me, the Gold Medal Winning team.

Over the GAC 2021, the teams were able to benefit from a multistakeholder network of professional experts whose goal is to help the teams further develop their digital solutions and to accompany the vision of the young entrepreneurs to help shape the most transformative yet tangible solutions.

“I am really proud to be part of this, these two days (‘Innovation for Good’ training) which we spent with the Global AgriInno Challenge was for us tremendous amount of learning and this is going to help us grow our business, our company and become more impactful with the local communities in the villages. We learned some things which we can apply back in our local society, so thank you very much!” shared by Khalil Rashid, EPTeck Technologies, Silver Medal Winning team of GAC 2021.

Ms Jocabed Becerra Soliz from Sumajta Mikhuna, the Third Prize Winner of GAC 2020, shared how her team benefited from the experience from GAC at the session of Youth Voice, “when we passed all the phases (GAC 2020), it was incredible. We didn’t believe it and especially we won third place. Until now this has allowed us to have more opportunities to improve. After the contest we focused on having more partners and define a more solid structure for our project”.

Watch short video of GAC 2021 viahere

Watch the Pitch Event of GAC 2021 via  here

To learn more about youth and women innovation via Global AgriInno Challenge, please contactdigital-innovation@fao.org.  

© 2020 Zhejiang University